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Grant number like: FT-264784-19

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Kathryn B. Meyer
Wright State University (Dayton, OH 45435-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 7/31/2019

Air Manchuria - The Army Behind the Mask: Aviation and Nation Building in Wartime Manchuria

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on Air Manchuria, the commercial airline established by the Japanese Imperial Army as it occupied China's Northeast provinces in 1932.

“Air Manchuria” is the first English language scholarly study of a commercial airline established by the Japanese Imperial Army as they occupied China’s Northeast provinces in 1932. Presenting itself as a multi-national modern Asian nation based on Confucian values, Manchukuo received international condemnation from the start. A commercial airline would underscore modernity and national pride. As a civil enterprise the company faced the same problems that other civil airlines faced in the early days: high prices, fearful customers, and uncomfortable accommodations. It also served a secret military function: logistics, surveillance, and espionage. As a business serving the puppet state it was touted as a mark of legitimacy. This study goes beyond military history. It discusses the use of commerce, leisure, and tourism in the process of state building, in this case a failed state.